pelt, possibly belonging to an owl sp.
Unfortunately, we approached it a little too closely and it flew to the center of the reserve but I was distracted once again when a woodpecker species flew into the lower trunk of a nearby tree. As it climbed up the trunk, I was astonished to see it was in fact a male GREY-HEADED WOODPECKER, another much sought after target species for both of us, it seemed the day was definitely improving!
male Grey-headed Woodpecker
It didn't stay long but we both got some record shots before we went back to photographing Marsh Tits and checking through the flocks of Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Bullfinches. Not to long after, I picked up the calls of Cranes! It sounded as if they were coming over the horizon but despite scanning all around there was no sign of any!? Then suddenly my brother shouted out and sure enough a flock of 73 CRANES were flying directly overhead! They were still rather high up but began loosing height rapidly and came to land only about a kilometer away in a stubble field just east of the E44, unfortunately just out of sight.
My brother and I decided to stay at the reserve instead of going through the effort of refinding the flock so we made our way back to the watchtower. A very kind local birder gave us advice on the several good birding locations and species in and around the region, although this wasn't always as easy as one might seem given that my vocabulary of German birds was not that extensive! None the less, we managed to point out a nice male Sparrowhawk to one another and best of all an adult male HEN HARRIER, that my brother called as it came glided past the hide, only about 20 meters away!
A rather successful ending to the day with a Green Sandpiper, 6 Roe Deer and a Hare to round the day off.